Spikers take down Jefferson to remain number one in 8-AAA

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It would only be fitting if this week’s Morgan County High School volleyball update started out with a big “OOPS” from this sportswriter.  For the past two weeks the old geezer has been calling Brooke BUTLER by the name of Brooke Randall.  How I got this confused is beyond me.  I know both of these stellar athletes at MOCO.  Randall is a superstar soccer player while Butler is one of the mainstays for the highly successful volleyball squad under Coach Olivia Daniell.  Butler is one of the main reasons for the early success of this year’s team that is leading the pack in 8-AAA and ranked sixth overall in the State AAA rankings.  I wish to apologize to the team and the coaching staff, but especially to Brooke and her parents for this oversight.  Her play at the net excites the crowd with her crushing kills and spikes.  Although a bit undersized for an outside hitter, her athleticism and impeccable timing allow her to play above the net with most players above her size.  Sorry for the mistake guys.  Hope you can forgive me.  Thanks.

Morgan got a huge win over Jefferson City School this past week in a game that could determine who will host the Area 8-AAA tournament at year’s end.  The Lady Spikers now have a two-game advantage over Jefferson after defeating them for the second straight time in two weeks.  A week ago they defeated the Lady Dragons 2-1 in a match that went the distance.  This week it was a two straight set win for the Lady Dogs as they defeated their nemesis 25-18 and 25-17 to put them in the driver’s seat to win the regular season championship outright.  Coach Daniell called the two matches a very close fight.

The Lady Spikers are now 8-0 in Area play and will play another top-notch team this week in Jackson County.  Jackson won the Area a year ago hands-down, but lost a number of their top players to graduation.  Nonetheless, it will be another test for Morgan.

Daniell talked about the win with these comments, “They all played well, but Bailey (Shultz) stood out as usual.  The big game-changer for us was that we didn’t give up a single point on serve.  That was huge for our rhythm and getting points obviously.  McKenzie (Larate) and Nijah (Young) put up some great blocking for us all night.  Our big outside hitters (Emma Silvey and Butler) came out big in this one.”

Young was asked about the win.  The senior said, “I thought we worked well together as a team against Jefferson.  Right now they are our biggest rival to win the Area, but Jackson County and some other teams this week will be good teams too.”

Butler also weighed in on the win.  “It was definitely a big win for us.  We worked hard to prepare for them.  Our goal is to play how we know how to play.  One problem we’ve seemed to have is going out and winning the first set and then losing the second.  Maybe we get too comfortable.  We want to put teams away and not get complacent by sticking to our fundamentals.  It’s fun working on and running new plays, but we’ve got to concentrate on the little things.  I think we can play with just about anybody we face on our schedule if we play up to our abilities.”

Daniell commented on why she thought this group has enjoyed the success they have thus far this season.  She noted, “I think it comes down to how committed they all really are.  They work extra hard in practice every day.  They all care a lot about winning and are committed to our goals.  This team is so much fun to coach; as people and players.  I don’t know how much better it could get than this group.  They deserve a lot of credit, but our goal is still to host the Area Tournament.”

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